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CONNECT > Student Outreach> Student Writing Competition

Student Writing Competition

AIPN has sponsored an annual student writing competition since 2001. The competition is open to all full-time seniors in a four-year program and all graduate students enrolled at an accredited university. Essays should be an original work of no more than 4,000 words, EXCLUDING footnotes, on any specific issue of the student's choice which is directly related to international petroleum negotiations, such as matters of contract, law, or policy.

The essays will be reviewed by a committee comprised of educators, lawyers, business managers and international negotiators. Selection of the winning essays is solely at the discretion of the committee. Essays are judged on topical relevance, originality of content, creativity, insight, clarity and support for viewpoints taken. Each student may submit only one entry.
The AIPN reserves the right to award less than two prizes if it determines that the quality of the essays does not warrant two prizes.
For 2015, the award includes: 
  • Registration at the AIPN International Conference or 2016 Annual Conference (two winners will be selected for each for a total of four winners in 2015)
  • Roundtrip, advance booking coach tickets to conference city
  • $300 expense reimbursement (expenses incurred relating to the conference and supported by receipts)
  • Standard lodging at the conference location during the conference, and
  • Student membership in the AIPN for one year (remainder of 2015 and full 2016).        
In addition, the winning essays may be published by AIPN in the Advisor and will be eligible for publication in the Journal or World Energy Law and Business.
Students related to current AIPN Officers or Directors or past winners are not eligible to win. By submitting an entry, you certify that you are not related to any foreign (outside the United States) government official, nor are you subject to any United States economic sanctions. If you have any questions regarding these statements, please contact us at

2016 Student Writing Competition

Deadline for submissions:
Winners announced: 
Download the 2016 Information Packet
Questions? Please contact
Read the 2010 Winning Papers

2011 Winning Papers

"Kazakhstan Petroleum Industry 2008-2010: Trends of Resource Nationalism Policy?" by Kuanysh Sarsenbayev, University of Dundee
"Exxon-Venezuela Arbitration Dispute: Next Steps and Impact on Future Investor-State Disputes Under ICSID" by Kenneth Stein, University of Houston Law Center

2012 Winning Papers

"Russia: Contractually Solving the Hold-up Problem for International Oil Companies” by Mike Olsen, University of Houston
Joint Operating Agreements: Should Elements of the AIPN Model Form International Operating Agreement Influence a New AAPL Joint Operating Agreement?”  by Patrick Murphy, Southern Methodist University

2013 Winning Papers

Limiting Damages for Loss of Profits and Loss of Production Under the AIPN 2013 Model Form International Operating Agreement” by Leanne Desbarats, University of Calgary (Please login with username and password to view)
Investment Protection in Colombia: Can Investors Rely on the Full Protection Security Clause?” by John Riggs, University of Houston (Please login with username and password to view)

2014 Winning Papers

U.S. LNG Exportation: The Regulatory Process and its Practical Implications” by John Adams, SMU Dedman School of Law (Please login with username and password to view)
Applying Game Theory to Oil and Gas Unitization Agreements: How to Resolve Mutually Beneficial, Yet Competitive Situations” by Barrett Schitka, University of Houston Law Center (Please login with username and password to view)

2015 Winning Papers

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"The Evolution of the Law of Indirect Expropriation and its Application to Oil and Gas Investments” by Omar Chehade, University of Calgary
The Trans-Caspian Pipeline: Implications for the Five Littoral States" by Bryce Cason, University of Tulsa
Arbitrating International LNG Disputes: Lessons Learned over Two Decades" by Lisa Bohmer, University of Houston
Unlocking Mexico’s Shale Gas Reserves: Folly or Fortune?” by Michael Ventocilla, University of Houston 

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